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Was Jack Williamson's 'Cometeer' Ship Inspired By Halley's Comet?

This is a reverse-Technovelgy story that occurred to me when I saw this post from @maximaxoo:

In his 1936 classic The Cometeers, science fiction Grandmaster Jack Williamson writes of a sinister green comet:

"Perhaps it's a comet." Still frowning, Bob Star swung back toward the observatory. "It looked like one - it was a short streak of that queer, misty green, instead of the point a star would show..."

Inside the chilly gloom of the observatory, Bob sat down at the telescope. Its mechanisms whirred softly, in swift response to his touch. The great barrel swung to search space with its photoelectric eyes, and the pale beam of the projector flashed across to the concave screen.

...He stepped up the electronic magnification. Vindemiatrix and the fainter stars slipped out of the field. The comet hung alone, and swiftly grew. Its shape was puzzling - a strangely perfect ellipsoid. A greenish football, he thought, kicked at the System out of the night of space - by what?

...Using ray filters and spectroscope, with the full power of the circuits, he strove to pierce that dull green veil, and failed."

Had Williamson seen this earliest photograph of Halley's Comet?

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/9/2023)

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